Google CEO Eric Schmidt publically stated this week that his company had not submitted a new Google Maps app to the Apple App Store for review, although new evidence suggests that Google may be working on such an app.
Google Maps was removed from iOS 6 and replaced by a new Maps app developed by Apple, which has widely been criticised for being a rushed product that pales in comparison to the app it replaced.
Users have reported poorly rendered 3D models in the new flyover mode; widely inaccurate turn-by-turn navigation; towns and cities labelled incorrectly (and in some instances not at all); businesses displayed in the wrong locations; and in some cases businesses which have not been trading for many years (like Our Price) have been appearing on maps.
Apple had a contract with Google for the search giant to provide the maps and data for the iOS Maps app, but now it has been revealed by a source close to the New York Times that Apple still had one year remaining on this contract.
Google was only informed of Apple’s decision to stop using its Maps a few days before iOS 6 was announced at WWDC in June. Considering that there was still a year remaining on the contract between the two companies this decision may have taken Google by surprise and so the company has not had much time to develop a replacement.
This led Google to announce the “next dimension” for Google Maps, which funnily enough included a “3D flyover mode”. Users can probably expect to see such a 3D flyover mode in the upcoming Google Maps app for iOS and an updated Google Maps app for Android. The addition of this 3D flyover mode may also explain the long delay as it would have been a fairly simple process for Google to transfer its existing Android app to iOS.
Apple has also made the decision to drop the YouTube app from iOS for which it was paying a licencing fee to Google. In response to this, Google was able to quickly produce a new YouTube app with enhanced features and submit it to the App Store.
The new Google Maps app apparently won’t be available for a few months yet, but it does offer a glimmer of hope for iPhone users who have experienced problems with the new Apple Maps app. Although Apple is working on fixing these problems, a fully polished Apple Maps app may not be seen for some time.